I have often wondered what would become of two different born-again Christians that died and were taken to heaven. I have concluded from my studies of the subject that all believers share all the glories of heaven. However, several Scriptures teach us that not all the folks in heaven will have the same status.
2 John 1:8 Watch yourselves, so that you do not lose what we have accomplished together, but that you may receive a full and perfect reward (when He grants rewards to faithful believers).
So, the faithful Christian will be rewarded, but what about the Christian who was not always committed to walking with Jesus? Faithfulness is determined by doing whatever the Lord has commanded us to do in this life. Our rewards in heaven will vary according to our level of obedience. Can a believer know what his reward will be or does he have to wait until he makes heaven before he knows?
2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, others who love His appearing will receive this crown.
There are many Scripture references to crowns in the Bible, not every one will receive a crown! Paul said he was promised this crown because He kept the faith. In the book of Revelation, millions of mid-tribulation saints appear in heaven. These are the folks who repented and washed their robes with the Blood of the Lamb. These folks will arrive in heaven and have access to all its glory, but they will not be given crowns. The pre-tribulation saints are already in heaven and they have been given their crowns.
Malachi 3:17-18 The faithful are all mine. They will get special treatment when I hand out My jewels. I will treat them like parents that reward the children who honor them. Then you will see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, those who serve Me and those who don’t.
If I understand the Scriptures accurately, those Saints who have been given crowns will be rewarded with jewels to wear in their crowns. According to the Jewish tradition, a bride was given a crown with jewels in it when she got married. So, in heaven there will be people wearing crowns that have few jewels and some with many jewels. Those who have many jewels are rewarded of the Lord for doing what He commanded them to do. Now, here is the most equitable part of this whole system, if all God ever asked you to do is take out the garbage and you did it, you will get a full reward.
We don’t all have to be like the Apostle Paul, we just need to be faithful with what God gives us. I don’t consider my reward, I consider my Lord and I believe I will be pleasantly surprised. There is rank and file in heaven and I have no problem honoring those who have done so much for the Master. Whether you’re the greater or the least, we will all share the glory of heaven and the manifestation of Jesus.